Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Richard Egarr celebrates 10 years with the Academy of Ancient Music

The Hanover Square Rooms, London
The Hanover Square Rooms where
Haydn's Symphony 101 'The Clock' was premiered
My how time flies! Richard Egarr is celebrating 10 years as music director of the Academy of Ancient Music, showing his versatility in repertoire from baroque to classical and beyond. To celebrate the milestone he is directing the orchestra in a pair of concerts in Cambridge (West Road Concert Hall, 4 May) and London (Milton Court Concert Hall, 5 May) exploring familiar and less familiar classical repertoire. Egarr is the soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24, the composer's 20th essay in the genre and one of only two in a minor key. The concerto uses the largest scoring of any of the composer's concertos, strings, woodwind, horns, trumpets and timpani; early admirers of the work included Beethoven and Brahms. Also in the concert is Mozart's ever popular Serenade No. 13, better known as Eine kleine Nachtmusik.

Joseph Haydn
Joseph Haydn,
painted in 1791
Egarr and the orchestra open the concert with Beethoven's overture to his ballet The Creatures of Prometheus and finish with Haydn's Symphony No. 101 in D Major, 'The Clock', which was written in the 1790s for Haydn's second visit to London. It was premiered by an orchestra of 60, and the grandeur of the work was partly inspired by hearing one of his symphonies performed in London by an orchestra of 300 (something that it might be fun to try at the Proms!). The Morning Chronicle was most enthusiastic (referring to the symphony as an overture):

 'As usual the most delicious part of the entertainment was a new grand Overture by HAYDN; the inexhaustible, the wonderful, the sublime HAYDN! The first two movements were encored; and the character that pervaded the whole composition was heartfelt joy. Every new Overture he writes, we fear, till it is heard, he can only repeat himself; and we are every time mistaken'

Full details from the Academy of Ancient Music website.

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